The following interview with Didier Charles, technical manager at GL Events, expands upon the AV preparations made for the recent World Congress on Cardiac Surgery held at the Convention Center in Barcelona (CCIB). Gl Events worked with their client Europa Organization as well as Analog Way.

Didier Charles: “We work with about a hundred freelances, mainly located in France. Our audiovisual department includes about 50 individuals dedicated to events. We work on roughly 1,000 events a year throughout the world. The Center welcomed approximately 12,000 visitors in four days. For this Convention, we were mandated to equip nine conference rooms with video, light, and sound, an internal TV network, and to record all presentations. Out of the nine rooms, four were integrated with two Di-VentiXTM. We did not use the soft edge-blending mode of the Di-VentiXTM; they were used to control the ‘yard’ and ‘garden’ screens. The ‘yard’ and ‘garden’ screens simply represent the left and right screens with two separate images controlled by a TripliXTM console. The TripliXTM was mainly used to simplify the process and give an easier access to the commands.”

Can you briefly describe the event?

DC: “Regarding the technical aspect, the projection was made in 1400x1050. There were four rooms equipped with Di-VentiXTM and five rooms equipped with Encore. We had equipped a control room with 12 cameras (two per room) to obtain a perfect calibration of the cameras. There were also six control rooms gathered in one room. As a result, the conference rooms were almost technical installation free. Three other control rooms were integrated directly in the conference rooms, as they were spread throughout the location. All rooms were equipped with satellite receptors to receive the images from surgeries taking place all over the world. We had to ensure everything was well synchronized for broadcasting on our TV network on IP.”

What challenges did you encounter during the show? How did you overcome them?

DC: “One of the challenges was to recreate the ergonomics of a control room with small mixers with t-bars, previews, programs, and effects, in order to avoid making selections on the front panel of the products. The TripliXTM had it all.
We also extensively worked from eight to 10 months prior to the event, which helped us anticipate possible problems. The specifications also evolved with time, which helped us keep track and follow the right direction. So in the end, we had little surprises and challenges to face; this helped us succeed. To be fully prepared, we worked in a show room three months in advance to validate the technical aspects with the customer and offer various solutions. The sequences were recorded in advance. Once we had all the sources, we spent a day setting the parameters and programming, plus another day for encoding.”

What were your client’s needs and requests during the event?

DC: “The objective of the convention was to present new technologies and new working methods in this area. Quality was our client’s primary focus as this event was addressed to researchers, doctors, and surgeons. As sources, we had presentation slides, satellite images to broadcast live, high resolution images of endoscopies and captures of the live presentations of the speakers, who were mostly surgeons. The mixing of theses sources had to be flawless in terms of image quality and color. During the conferences, we were receiving sources by satellite of images of live open-heart surgeries. They were courses on cardiac and cardio-vascular surgery. The video signal went through various control rooms but the result had to be impeccable. We used the Di-VentiXTM to mix all the sources, on four of the nine conference rooms.”

Who requested/recommended Analog Way products for that show?

DC: “Europa Organization knew little about Analog Way’s products and little more about other solutions. We offered to use the Di-VentiXTM in four of the nine conference rooms, as it was for us the best compromise for this type of event, in terms of quality, price and performance. We did not encounter any problems during the four days of the event and our client was very satisfied.”

What advantages do you recognize in the use of Analog Way products?

DC: “For the moment, the low cost switchers’ trend is expanding tremendously. Rental companies are feeling the need to mix more and more computer and video sources when working on an event. Encore offers a very expensive solution which is heavy to deal with and not necessarily adapted to all types of events contrarily to the Di-VentiXTM who is a perfect fit. They are interesting solutions, but again, the budgets are not the same and they are not all dedicated to the same applications.”